Stupor in Germany. German police said on Thursday they had opened an investigation against an alleged Egyptian spy working for the press service of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The man is suspected of “having worked for years on behalf of an Egyptian intelligence service,” said German Internal Intelligence in a report, adding that the investigation opened in December 2019 “continues” today. hui.
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He has not given any information on his identity or his whereabouts in recent months, speaking only of “measures” taken by the police against him. According to the German daily image, the man is an employee of the German civil service “of intermediate grade”, hierarchically at a higher level than the beginners but not being part of the high civil service.
Embarrassing case for Angela Merkel
He worked in particular in the service of visits of the German federal press center, the Bundespresseamt, a service in charge in particular of the communication on the activities of the chancellery. This affair is therefore very embarrassing for Angela Merkel. In particular, the alleged spy was responsible for welcoming visitors. According to Bild, he could in particular have in this way monitored Egyptian journalists.
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According to the German Internal Intelligence report, both the Egyptian Foreign Spy Service (GIS) and its Internal Intelligence Service (NSS) are active in Germany. Their objective is in particular to collect information on opponents of the Egyptian regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi who live in the country. And in particular sympathizers of the Brotherhood of the Muslim Brotherhood, banned since 2013 in Egypt.
The targeted Christian Copts community
The Egyptian services are also interested in members of the Christian community of the Copts and are trying to recruit Egyptian nationals as spies. “They take advantage of the trips made by these people in Egyptian diplomatic representations in Germany or the trips they make” in their country of origin, said the report.
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Aside from a brief parenthesis following the popular uprising of January-February 2011 which ousted President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt has been ruled since 1952 by the military. The army, portrayed as the protector of the people, is omnipresent in society and its role has increased in recent years. The current president came to power in 2013 after dismissing Mohamed Morsi, the only democratically elected and civil head of state in Egypt.